From “‘Dickens by Candlelight’ is an enchanting theatrical experience.”

Freeline Media, December 20, 2010:

  1. “...Orlando’s veteran actor/director John DiDonna, who seems more than capable of tackling Scrooge one second, Tiny Tim the next, and making both roles seem believable and engaging.”

  2. “Their goal is to bring Scrooge’s epic holiday journey to life in a way that seems fresh, invigorating, and funny.”

  3. “‘Dickens by Candlelight’” goes a few steps further in making it a shared experience among audience and actors alike, a festive holiday event where we sing together, dine together, and experience together the glory of Scrooge’s newfound spirit of giving.”

  4. “DiDonna, Russell and Tamborello keep you fascinated with their energetic, electric command of the show.”

  5. "’Dickens by Candlelight’ is magical.”


From “An enchanting ‘Dickens By Candlelight.’" by Michael W. Freeman, The Ledger, December 18, 2009 at 2:31 p.m.

  1. is, as a holiday show should be, quite enchanting.

  2. “DiDonna fully engulfs Scrooge with a good deal of humor and gusto...”

  3. “DiDonna also wrings every bit of pathos out of the Scrooge who is forced to look back at the sad life that brought him to his current sour outlook – and a harsh look at the people around him who manage to set aside their own troubles to enjoy the opportunities for togetherness that Christmas provides.”

  4. “Morgan Russell and Monica Tamborello do a great job carrying every other role in the story...

  5. “It's a unique and fun approach to Dickens, and one that creates just the right mood of exhilaration and joy by the end...”


From Commander Coconut’s “All the Goings on of 2009.”

Orlando Sentinel, Dec. 31, 2009:

  1. “Best Christmas show: Dickens by Candlelight, featuring the Christmas Carol story as acted by Morgan Russell, John DiDonna and Monica Tamborello (bonus, cookies and tea).”

From Commander Coconut’s “Candlelight Shows: Perfect Holiday Match.”

Orlando Sentinel, Dec. 13, 2002:

  1. “Let's give Dickens five stars....”

  2. “Stacy Barton, Diana Brune and Mark Mannette, the three actors who present the redemptive Dickens by Candlelight, are excellent...”

  3. “Part of the appeal of the intimate setting is that you can watch the faces of the kids in attendance. Most of them were mouth-open fascinated.”

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“He has given us plenty of merriment, I am sure...”

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From “Freeline Media Review: “Dickens by Candlelight.” Freeline Media, December 19, 2013:

  1. “DiDonna is absolutely wonderful as Scrooge...the fact that he makes Scrooge seem all the more human makes the final redemption that much more emotionally fulfilling.”

  2. “Olson, with her booming voice, and Tamborello both do a superb job in all their roles, and work quite effectively in a room filled with tables for the audience, complete with tea and cookies.”

  3. “But the three actors in that darkened room also remind us of how powerfully intimate theater is... In theater, there is a connection between the performers — and the audience’s imaginations.”

  4. “When you have a strong story to begin with, and three powerful actors who know how to put a gripping emotion into their work, the effect is absolutely spellbinding.”

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From Commander Coconut’s “Year in Review: Highs, Lows--and a Graceful Exit.Orlando Sentinel, Dec. 27, 2012:

  1. “Favorite Christmas show: "Dickens by Candlelight" starring John DiDonna, Morgan Russell and Monica Long Tamborello.”

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Image by KHphotographics

Image by KHphotographics

Image by KHphotographics

Image by KHphotographics

Image by KHphotographics

From our audience through the years:

  1. “Loved seeing this captivating show this afternoon. Looking forward to making this a holiday tradition for our family.”

  2. “The girls and I really enjoyed Dickens by Candlelight. It's a an intimate show that has become a delightful holiday tradition. Bravo, once again...”

  3. “I saw John DiDonna, Morgan Russell, and Monica Long Tamborello be fully brilliant bringing A Christmas Carol to life in Dickens by Candlelight at Sleuths Mystery Dinner Theatre, Inc.!”

  4. “This was our second year attending your performance and it was every bit as magical as the first! What a gem is this production! Thank you for sharing your talents so genuinely! Merry Christmas!”

  5. “Had a great time tonight with my family....thank you for a great performance!!!”

  6. “It's not Christmas until we enjoy cookies, tea, and the Dickens trio.”

  7. “This is an awesome show - great fun!!! A great way to get into the "SPIRIT."

  8. “Loved the show ... again!”

  9. “If you see only one play this season. Treat your self to this one.”

  10. “Can't wait to see the show again this year.”

  11. “Great show tonight.... what a great way to lead off my Christmas week!”

  12. “This was AWESOME... Don't plan on just sitting and watching you are part of the show, from Singing Carols, to dancing and making merry to playing Charades. If have not seen this show please please make time to see it, if you have seen it, each performance is just a bit different with the audience involved to be worth seeing again and again.”

  13. “They do an excellent job each year.”

  14. “Such a warm and wonderful show.”

  15. “Loved the performance last night! Thanks for all the heart you three put into it.”

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From “Theater review: 'Dickens by Candlelight' at Sleuths Mystery Dinner Shows. by Matthew J. Palm, Orlando Sentinel Theater Critic, Orlando Sentinel, December 15, 2014:

  1. “ falls on actors John DiDonna, Morgan Russell and Monica Long Tamborello to maintain the personal connection that makes this adaptation so special — and they do just that. They frolic, scamper and glide among the guests with infectious energy, asking them to join in a dance, changing costumes and characters before our eyes.”

  2. “ was fascinating to observe in the final, climactic ghostly encounter that whispered chatter stopped, glasses were lowered and all eyes were on the actors, proclaiming Dickens' glorious words, lit by flickering candlelight.”

  3. “Yes, in its simple bells and candles, married to goodhearted performances and powerful writing, the magic is still there.”

From “Getting into the Christmas Spirits with Dickens by Candlelight in Orlando. by Michael Gavin, Inside the Magic, December 16, 2014:

  1. “This unique and intimate iteration of the classic tale of goodwill towards men is a must see experience.”

  2. “Told entirely in Dickens’ own words (except for one word and a little bit of improv), the transformative tale of Ebenezer Scrooge is brought to life by three very talented actors (John DiDonna, Morgan Russell and Monica Long Tamborello). ”

  3. “Dickens by Candlelight will delight and engage anyone attending. ”

From “Analog Artist Digital World: Dickens by Candlelight.” by Thomas Thorspecken, Analog Artist Digital World: An Illustrator’s Guide to Orlando, December 17, 2013:

  1. “The three talented Orlando actors, portray all of the roles and artfully transform themselves from character to character and stave to stave.”

  2. “...the cast kept the story engaging and suspenseful. John DiDonna did an amazing job portraying Scrooges greed and then joyful redemption.

  3. “This subtle use of sound and candlelight held more dramatic terror than any of today's special effects laden films. This is theater's magic as people gather together in a dark room to share a tale.”

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Image by KHphotographics